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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Feb 24, 2007 11:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Who was Bill Graham?

He was a question on Jeopardy last night. The answer was "this rock promoter whose helicopter crashed near Vallejo going home after a Huey Lewis and The News concert."
The irony of Bill seeing every great act in music for 30 years and his last show was Huey Lewis. Just doesn't seem right.

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Poster: JodyC Date: Feb 24, 2007 12:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

maybe it wasn't an accident and Huey put him over the edge?

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Poster: Compsurfah_Too Date: Feb 24, 2007 12:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

Hmmm.... Correct me if I am wrong... But wasn't Stevie Ray Vaghn in the same helicopter crash?




This post was modified by Compsurfah_Too on 2007-02-24 20:20:35

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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Feb 24, 2007 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

No, Stevie died in 1990 in Wisconsin. Bill died in 1991 in California. I remember being saddened on both days.
But, I do remember before Stevie and Double Trouble hit the big time, they were an opening group for Huey Lewis at Laguna Seca.

Does anyone remember the Day on the Green shows that Bill put on? The first one I saw was, Yngwie, Metallica, Y & T, Ratt and the Scorpions. Great stuff for a young longhair.

This post was modified by not_a_typical_daydream on 2007-02-24 20:29:46

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 24, 2007 3:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

The first concert I ever went to was a Day on the Green: The Grateful Dead and The Who, 10/10/76.

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Poster: Compsurfah_Too Date: Feb 24, 2007 12:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

I stand corrected... SRV was not in the same crash...

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Poster: elkdog Date: Feb 24, 2007 12:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

Nope- SRV died in a crash at Alpine Valley, in Wisconsin, in 1990.

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Poster: elkdog Date: Feb 24, 2007 12:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

Sorry about that simulpost. Didn't mean to pile on.

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Poster: tigerbolt Date: Feb 24, 2007 12:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

huey lewis was one of bill graham favorite bands,he helped them out a lot.the band is also good friends with the grateful dead and huey has played with the band at a show.i rather see huey than justin timberlake.never caught them but i hear they put on a good show.

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 24, 2007 2:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

Weir and Huey are pals, and Huey ain't too bad of a harp man.

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Poster: wagglebee Date: Feb 24, 2007 12:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

I saw Huey Lewis with a bunch of people when I was in college back in the mid-80s; it was nothing special, but it was a fun and very lively concert.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Feb 24, 2007 12:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

Nope. Different crashes at different times.

BTW, John Cipollina's brother was/is(?) the bass player in The News.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 24, 2007 5:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham: Uncle Bobo...

April 29, 1971

Dear Friends:

Ever since the creation of the Fillmores, it was my sole intention to do nothing more, or less, than present the finest contemporary artists in this country, on the best stages and in the most pleasant halls.

The scene has changed and, in the long run, we are all to one degree or another at fault. All that I know is that what exists now is not what we started with, and what I see around me now does not seem to be a logical, creative extension of that beginning. Therefore, I am taking this opportunity to announce the closing of the Fillmores, and my eventual withdrawal from producing concerts.

The process will commence with the formal closing of Fillmore East on Sunday, June 27, 1971.

My reasons are as follows:
Fillmore East - End of a 4 Year Run


| | | |

Reason #1

"The unreasonable and totally destructive inflation of the live concert scene. Two years ago I warned that the Woodstock Festival syndrome would be the beginning of the end. I am sorry to say that I was right. In 1965 when we began the original Fillmore Auditorium, I associated with and employed "musicians." Now, more often than not, it's with "officers and stockholders" in large corporations - only they happen to have long hair and play guitars. I acknowledge their success, but condemn what that success has done to some of them. I continue to deplore the exploitation of the gigantic-hall concerts, many of them with high-priced tickets. The sole incentive of too many has simply become money. The conditions for such performances, besides lacking intimacy, are professionally impossible according to my standards."

Reason #2

"I had always hoped to be able to present artists whose musical worth I felt was important: artists whose music was valid, whether commercially popular or not. There are more quality artists today; but many of those that do exist do not appear in public regularly. Therefore, in order to stay in business, I would be forced to present acts whose musicality fell below my personal expectations and demands. I could do this, and in having to book fifty-two weeks a year it becomes tempting because it is so much easier to do. Thousands might even come to these concerts, but I personally would prefer not to present them. For who would gain?"

Reason #3

"With all due respect for the role they play in securing work for the artists, the agents have created a new rock game called "packaging"; which means simply that if the Fillmore wants a major headliner, then we are often forced to take the second and/or third act that the agent or manager insists upon, whether or not we would take pride in presenting them, and whether or not such an act even belongs on that particular show. To do so would be to relinquish the essential responsibility of being a producer, and this I will not do."

Reason #4

"In the early days of both Fillmore East and West, the level of audience seemed much higher in terms of musical sophistication. Now there are too many screams for "More" with total disregard for whether or not there was any musical quality."

Reason #5

"The time and energy that is required for me to maintain a level of proficiency in my own work has grown so great that I have simply deprived myself of a private life. At this point I feel that I can no longer refuse myself the time, the leisure, and the privacy to which any man is rightfully entitled."

Reason #6

"For six years, I have endured the abuse of many members of the public, and press (in most instances people who did not know me personally). The role of "anti-christ of the underground" has obviously never appealed to me. And when I asked for people to either judge me on some factual personal knowledge, or at least base their opinion on that which I produced and gave to the public, I was rarely answered."

Reason #7

"Rock has been good to me in many ways, but the final and simple fact is that I am tired. The only reason to keep the Fillmore in operation at this point would be to make money. And though few have ever chosen to believe me on this point, money has never been my prime motivation; and now that it would become the only possible motivation to continue, I pass."

In Closing...

My personal future will begin with a long-needed rest. What will follow, I do not know. The several hundred good people who work at the Fillmore, maniacally dedicated to our standards, will, no doubt, go on to other creative things on their own. Fillmore West, as you may know, has been allocated for demolition for a long time now. It will neither relocate nor be reopened.

The "Fillmore" will become a thing of the past. I will remember with deep emotion and fondness the great and joyous moments of that past. I sincerely thank the artists and business associates who contributed to our success. But, I warn the public to watch carefully for what the future will bring.

The rock scene in this country was created by a need felt by the people, expressed by the musicians, and, I hope, aided to some degree by the efforts of the Fillmores. But whatever has become of that scene, wherever it turned into the music industry of festivals, 20,000-seat halls, miserable production quality, and second-rate promoters - however it went wrong - please, each of you, stop and think whether or not you allowed it, whether or not you supported it regardless of how little you received in return.

I am not pleased with this "music industry." I am disappointed with many of the musicians working in it, and I am shocked at the nature of the millions of people who support that "industry" without asking why. I am not assured that the situation will improve in the future.

But beyond all these viewpoints, I truly wish to express my overwhelming appreciation to the people, who, over the years, gave their time and devoted energy to working at the Fillmores. To them, and to many, many musicians who grew in stature without ever copping out, and to those admirable patrons who both refused to support marathon rip-offs and who even took the time to helpfully criticize me for the errors I made - to all of you, my fondest thanks and farewell.


Sincerely,

Bill Graham

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 24, 2007 7:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham: Uncle Bobo...

Bobo, not Bilbo. I stand corrected.

Enlightening, though it is, to read that statement, I am unclear as to what, if any, conclusion can be drawn from it. As much as anything, it reads like Bill got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning, although he does drive home the point that he had been weighing his decision to close the venues for some time before actually doing so. But he remained in the concert promotion business until he died, even though it would seem from reading it that he was as ready to buy a farm in Nebraska and raise chickens at that point as he was to continue working in the music industry. Who knows? I saw my share of gigs that were coordinated under the umbrella of Bill Graham Productions years after he issued that letter, and was a happy customer at that. I did not see anything at the Fillmore, but there are a lot of other legendary theaters, clubs, dives, and hockey rinks where I never saw shows, including Winterland, CBGB's, and the Cavern Club, but that didn't prevent me or millions of others from having our socks knocked off at countless other locales. Bill's stated disappointment with the biz back then did nothing to stop it from going where it was going, nor did it ultimately prevent him from remaining a mover and shaker in the upstairs office. And he wasn't the last person who went into it with the romantic notion that only the best bands and artists would be playing at his joint(s). Would the initial House of Blues, wherever it was, have been able to keep its doors open for more than a year if they had only booked blues acts? How often do they actually schedule blues performers, anyway? It was, perhaps, the end of an era when Bill had to close the Fillmores, and that era was replaced by another, and my first concert was a Bill Graham Production at a football stadium that he put together to showcase his two favorite live acts, The Who and the Dead. It did not matter to me at all that I happened to be sitting in the same place where Kenny Stabler would be throwing touchdown passes later that fall instead of sitting in an old theater. I was too young to have been at the Fillmore, and there are countless others who are too young to have seen what many of the rest of us saw elsewhere. Bill presented us with a whole lot of good times, fully worth the price of admission. The show must go on, regardless of where it takes place.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 24, 2007 10:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham: Uncle Bobo...

BE: didn't mean for it to come off in any way as a reprimand or even correction...just thought that his ltr was very informative...he could be a real pain, but you had to give him his due vis a vis drive and principle...he did not suffer fools or deceit of any manner.

Cool thread, NATDD.

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 25, 2007 6:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham: Uncle Bobo...

I was afraid that might read like I was being confrontational. I wasn't. There was nothing there causing me to take umbrage. I was really just being analytical.

OVERanalytical, at that!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 25, 2007 7:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham: Uncle Bobo...

No sweat; overly sensitive, myself...

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 25, 2007 7:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham: Uncle Bobo...

Still, though, are we firm that it was "Bobo," and not "Bilbo"? Bilbo seems like more of a natural evoloution from Bill.

Be aware that the world will not turn until we arrive at a definitive answer.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 25, 2007 7:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham: Uncle Bobo...

Oh yes...right on that...just tried an experiment: 'googled' his name, Weir and bobo, and came up with all sorts of hits with it...stories from newspapers, magazines, etc.

Not sure how I had heard it--off a concert recording, from reading, etc., but pretty confident.

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 24, 2007 3:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

I'm also reminded of the famous comments of Uncle Bilbo-a name Weir gave him that he HATED-on the last night of the Fillmore (East, I believe). Refreshing the memory of some, and sharing a great story with those who are unfamiliar with it---

Graham comes on stage before the encore to make a short speech to the audience (and you have to imagine his distinct New York dialect while reading this): "Someone was saying earlier that The Grateful Dead aren't just a band, that they're an 'environment,' which is the most beautiful thing I've ever heard." In the meantime, a fair amount of audience members are yelling for the band to come back and play more, which pisses him off and inspires him to tell them, "For those of you who keep yelling 'more' and 'more' and 'more,' why don't you try thinking, 'The musicians are here, they're hanging out,' and quit yelling, and quit being assholes. 'More, more, more!' Just hang out, okay?" The band does return and one of them, (I was never sure who. Phil? Pig?), says "You're gonna suck the last ounce right out, aren't ya'?" Then, the unmistakable voice of Bob Weir can be heard telling the audience, "I'd just like to hear a little appreciation for Bill Graham. He runs a hell of a place."

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Poster: rastamon Date: Feb 24, 2007 4:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

Uncle Bobo my friend

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Poster: smi2les Date: Feb 24, 2007 1:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

Anyone how ever seen a concert in those years, up to his death, should be grateful. He didn't pay well as an empolyer nor could he ride a motorcycle, but he loved to have fun and passed it on to the masses. He was a true Saint.
Too bad Concord had to be his last venue.......

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Poster: cush11 Date: Feb 24, 2007 2:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

Bill shows were always fun shows!!!

And that's a fact!

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Poster: BryanE Date: Feb 24, 2007 2:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Who was Bill Graham?

I almost jumped on the question about whether Bill's chopper crash was the same one that took Stevie Ray, but decided to check if anyone else had gotten to it. No need to hammer any more nails into those coffins.

Ooh. Bad choice of words. Sorry.

Oregon Music Harvest, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, 1978: The headline act was in the process of getting their equipment and other issues "exactly right" before actually playing any songs. Bill came on stage to personally survey each of the musicians, almost like Jeeves the Butler, asking each of them, "Everything Okay?" The lead guitarist, a somewhat robust gentleman with dark glasses and touches of grey in his full beard and long, wavy hair, responded in an affected British accent, "Shut up, William! Shut up!"

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